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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Astros’ Kile Loses Again Despite Strong Showing

From Associated Press

Numbers say Darryl Kile has lost more games than any pitcher in the National League. His manager says the numbers are deceiving.

Kile became the league’s first 12-game loser Saturday night when the Pirates defeated the Houston Astros, 3-1, at Pittsburgh.

“What we have to do is get the poor guy some runs,” Manager Terry Collins said. “He’s pitched pretty good for us, really. He’s kept us in just about every game he’s started. It almost seems like he has to pitch a shutout every time out.”

John Ericks (3-4) broke a personal three-game losing streak, giving up five hits in eight innings to become the first Pittsburgh starter to get a victory since July 22.

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The Pirates won for only the third time in 16 games. Houston is 7-2 against Pittsburgh this year and Kile (4-12) has both losses.

His 12 losses are a career high, topping the total he had as a rookie in 1991.

Thanks to a promotion, the crowd of 31,147 was the largest since opening night at Three Rivers Stadium and only the fifth this season over 20,000.

Colorado 7, San Diego 3--Dante Bichette hit his 26th home run, tying teammate Larry Walker for the league lead, and Armando Reynoso pitched 7 1/3 strong innings for the Rockies at Denver.

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Bichette set a club record by homering in his fifth consecutive game and extended his hitting streak to 17 games. That streak includes 12 homers. Bichette had three hits, including two doubles.

With a crowd of 48,043--the Rockies’ 27th consecutive sellout--the third-year expansion team topped the 10 million mark in attendance, reaching that figure faster than any franchise in baseball history.

Chicago 1, St. Louis 0--Scott Servais hit a home run in the eighth inning to break a scoreless tie and Jim Bullinger pitched seven innings as the Cubs won at St. Louis.

Bullinger (9-2), who has won four of his last five decisions, gave up four hits. He struck out six and lowered his earned-run average to 2.72.

“I have a lot of faith in my control right now and I feel like I can put the ball were I need to,” Bullinger said. “I was just pouring the ball in there. I figured we would score sometime and I wanted to keep it close until we did.”

Bullinger, who pitched a shutout in his last start, July 30 against Philadelphia, extended his scoreless innings streak to 19.

Florida 6, New York 3--Jeff Conine’s three-run home run in the eighth inning at New York gave the Marlins their team-record eighth consecutive victory.

Randy Veres (4-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Bobby Witt for the victory. Robb Nen got his 12th save.

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Witt gave up six hits and three runs in six innings. The Marlins have scored 17 runs in his two victories and only 21 in his other 17 starts.

“What can I do about it?” Witt said. “I remember talking to Nolan Ryan and he told me his record was 8-14 one season when he was leading the National League in ERA.

“I’ve had to remind myself about that many times this season. Sooner or later the guys will get me runs, and I just hope I’ve been pitching well enough to win those games.”

Rookie Bill Pulsipher (3-6) gave up six runs on eight hits in eight innings for the Mets, who have lost five in a row.

Atlanta 9, Montreal 6--Mark Lemke and Javier Lopez each drove in three runs and Tom Glavine struck out a season-high nine at Montreal, as the Braves won their fourth consecutive game.

Marquis Grissom had five hits with two runs batted in and Lemke had four hits in the Braves’ 17-hit attack.

Glavine (10-5) gave up four runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings to hand Montreal its fifth loss in a row.

Mark Wohlers worked the final 1 1/3 innings for his 14th save.

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